While being friendly and helpful is usually the way to go, sales reps at high-end retailers might find some benefit in acting aloof and snobbish. "They'll create a superior attitude so that a certain sort of customer will feel like they need to please that person," she explains. It's akin to a snooty waiter scoffing at your choice of wine so that you'll feel like you need to order a more expensive bottle to avoid embarrassing yourself.
A related tactic is to make customers feel as though they're part of some exclusive club. Gault says that she often hears sales reps at retail stores refer to items as being part of an "exclusive line" that you can't find anywhere else. "I'm not impressed," she says. "Maybe you're the only one that carries it, but there's probably a whole lot of others that carry something like it." Indeed, in our experience, "exclusive" often just means that it's the only place you can get the product in a given color. Yarrow adds that sales reps can likewise make people feel like they're part of an exclusive club by telling customers that a certain celebrity or high-society figure recently bought a given product. Interestingly, she says that this trick tends to work better on men. "Men more than women like to know who else in what hierarchy is buying some product," she says. "Men like to rank things more." >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.